Whose street is it anyway?

Residents of Schofield Street became unwitting ammunition in the longstanding feud between Art Bullock and the city, and many are none too happy about it.

Among the seven lawsuits Bullock has filed against the city of Ashland one challenges the local improvement district along Schofield Street in the far north end of town, where residents and businesses would be taxed for street and sidewalk maintenance.

On Schofield Street, the majority of residents petitioned the city to create the district so they could have their gravel road paved.

"I certainly don't know or understand what his motivations are," said resident Vance Littleton said of Bullock. "He doesn't even live here in the area, and he certainly is not one of the residents involved in the LID."

Littleton, who has lived on the street since 1992, said he and other residents want their road paved to help stop water runoff from a nearby development.

"That was part of my motivation to get the LID in the first place: To rid ourselves of this continual debris coming into our driveways," Littleton said. "We met the requirements that the city had and the council approved it."

Littleton said he now is "somewhere between aggravation and anger" that Bullock is thwarting the City Council's approval of the Schofield LID earlier this year.

"I don't think it's quite fair, frankly," Littleton said.

Bullock, who lives in Quiet Village, has not returned several calls for comment.

Another Schofield Street homeowner, Stuart Cotts, said Bullock's lawsuit "is a really bad thing.

"Art is against this whole LID process so he got a couple of the neighbors who are not in favor of it to support his lawsuit," Cotts said, referring to neighbors Judith Pentkowski, Edward Pentkowski, and Mary Dutton, who are also suing the city along with Bullock.

"He is an extremist," Cotts said of Bullock. "What it feels like to me is he is being obstructive to the process in many ways. The city has been fantastic about the process but it's now being put into hold by Art Bullock."

Other lawsuits Bullock and others have filed include three challenging local improvement districts, two along Nevada Street and the one on Schofield Street; and a lawsuit challenging the final plans for a 4.34-acre housing subdivision on the Helman Baths property on Otis Street.

Ashland City Administrator Martha Bennett said in all the seven lawsuits could potentially cost the city $170,000 to litigate.

Philip Lang, who along with Bullock is suing the city over the Nevada Street local improvement district, said the city has brought the flood of lawsuits on itself by breaking state law and skirting its own rules to give advantage to developers and real estate agents.

"Art Bullock is a person who lives like a mouse in a wall, in poverty, so he can protect the public interest," Lang said in an earlier interview. "This has nothing to do with personal gain."

covers politics for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at csrizo@hotmail.com.

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